February, in North America, can be a turbulent month for the weather with temperatures frequenting sub-zero, breezy arctic winds, and even the risk of frostbite becoming a very real thing. The only way to survive is with a proper Winter coat but unfortunately, not all of them are made equal. When it comes to staying dry and warm, there is only one brand we wholeheartedly recommend and that is Columbia. Their new Aerial Ascender Jacket has some notable features that make this our go-to coat this season.
Made from weatherproof Omni-Tech™ Rebound Stretch 100% polyester complete with zippered hand pockets and a drawstring adjustable hem; the Aerial Ascender is built for the Winter warrior or warrioress and has all the features ready to tackle the mountain. Most notable is the inclusion of a ski pass and goggle pocket, and an adjustable powder skirt. However, like many coats built for this kind of weather, these are nice features to have but how about warmth?
Columbia has always been big on less plush ‘marshmallowy’ jackets and more slimline functional coats that rely upon your body heat being reflected on to you to keep you warm. They even patented a technology called Omni-Heat which is a thermal lining inside most of their jackets that serves to help regulate temperature. A notable change in the Ascender is the next evolution of this technology, a new Infinity thermal reflective pattern of unique-looking gold dots that delivers improved heat retention and breathability. The Omni-Heat technology has been so effective in our testing here in Toronto that I have been shoveling the driveway, walking the dog, and just cruising the town with nothing else but a short sleeve t-shirt underneath and I have been toasty warm, it does work that well, even deceptively so when you see how lightweight the jacket is. We’re not saying go scale Everest with anything else but this jacket, but for everyday tasks, it should get the job done!
There are also some worthy additional features which we have come to appreciate as well, things such as an adjustable hood that can fit over a ski helmet, zippered chest pockets for your valuables, adjustable cuffs to tighten over gloves, and even underarm venting to allow adequate airflow without feeling the cold. All these features combined make for an experience that is unlike any other we have had with outerwear.
To sum up, we believe the Aerial Ascender Infinity Jacket by Columbia checks all the right boxes for anyone looking for a lightweight, weatherproof, and most importantly warm coat that won’t break the bank and is perfect for all kinds of Winter activities from the slopes to the suburbs.